Determining the individual, organizational, and community level outcomes of a community leadership development program as perceived by the program alumni
The need for community leaders is increasing while the supply of community leaders is decreasing, leaving a gap in community leadership. Community leadership development programs (CLDP) are the most common approach to leadership development, yet the effects of CLDPs are rarely determined. In order to sustain programs that develop potential community leaders, program outcomes at the individual, organizational, and community levels must be identified. This exploratory, non-experimental quantitative study used Black's (2006) Leadership Program Outcomes Measure (LPOM) to determine CLDP alumni's perceptions of the individual, organizational, and community level outcomes associated with participation in the CLDP; to describe the socio-demographic characteristics of CLDP alumni; and to determine if a relationship exists between the outcomes and the socio-demographic characteristics. Descriptive statistics are used to describe the socio-demographic characteristics of alumni and to identify the outcomes associated with participation in the CLDP. The median test is used to determine if a relationship exists between the identified outcomes and year of alumni's participation. The Kruskal-Wallis test is used to determine if a relationship exists between the identified outcomes and gender, alumni membership status, and participation in another leadership program. Spearman's rho is implemented to determine if a relationship exists between the identified outcomes and the alumni's age and education level. Individual level outcomes perceived by the CLDP alumni were growth, modeling, the power to make a difference, value of time, community involvement, business skills, creative thinking, and self-confidence. Organizational level outcomes perceived by CLDP alumni were network of contacts, networking skills, facilitate change, professional organizations, and use of resources. Community level outcomes perceived by CLDP alumni were appreciation of cultural differences and involvement in local and community organizations. The only relationship found to exist between the socio-demographic characteristics of the alumni and the perceived outcomes belonged to participants who were members of the CLDP alumni association. The strongest relationship between members of the alumni association and the outcomes occurred at the community level, next at the organizational level, and last at the individual level. The findings from this study are consistent with previous studies.